A new and eminently worthy entry into the annals of Fantastic Supernatural Comedies, Extra Ordinary follows Rose (comedian Maeve Higgins), a sweet, awkward driving instructor in rural Ireland with a not-so-secret talent (the ability to exorcise ghosts from the everyday objects—and animals—they inhabit). Of course, the townsfolk are always bugging her about their nuisance hauntings, even though she quit the biz for good many years ago after accidently getting her dad killed mid- exorcism. She prefers to live her boring, staid life with occasional spicy appearances by her pregnant, single-and-ready-to-mingle sister.
Everything about this movie is done subtly right. The vague retro atmosphere, the quasi-horror soundtrack, the mildly distorted PSA-like videotape breaks—it could be the late 1970s or early '80s à la Stranger Things, though the era is never actually specified. The unexpected plot, the hilariously gross comedy—Extra Ordinary doesn't feel like it's trying too hard to get laughs, but manages to draw them out with regularity—and, most importantly, the excellent casting.
Will Forte is perfect as creepy, washed-up, one-hit wonder Christian Winter, likely wearing the same clothing and hairstyle from the time he enjoyed his brief rise (and bearing a striking resemblance to real-life "Do You Wanna Make Love" hit maker Peter McCann). He's a bumbling satanist whose deal with the devil to get his stardom back requires the sacrifice of a virgin, much to the impatience of his long-suffering, self-involved harpy girlfriend (Claudia O'Doherty giving a first-rate performance of a character who's quite the opposite of the one she played in the Netflix series Love).
Barry Ward is also fantastic as the widowed father who comes to Rose for help with his spellbound, levitating daughter—but who, side note, has been enduring daily supernatural interference from the overbearing ghost of his wife since her death eight years ago, a plot device that hits stellar levels of hilarity later in the film. And Higgins is an unexpected comic gem who wears her character's awkwardness like a second skin.
Extra Ordinary might be this year's best comedy. It's certainly my favorite of 2020 so far.